London theatres give a glimpse of the city’s history
With London ready to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, almost the entire city is set to become a stage. The vibrant theatre scene will take theatre lovers on journeys they’ll remember for years.
The reconstructed Globe Theatre, the National Theatre, and The Rose Theatre have brought the best theatre to London for centuries.
The Rose, which opened its doors on the South Bank in 1587, was William Shakespeare’s first home before relocating to the nearby Globe Theatre.
There are now 240 theatres on both banks of the Thames, with the largest concentration in the West End, around the Covent Garden. Thames boat hire gives easy access to Covent Garden and the wonderful history of its theatres.
The Royal Opera House at Covent Garden hosts emerging opera singers, who perform on the piazza. On Saturdays, visitors are greeted by Pearly Kings and Queens, adorned in their mother-of-pearl studded regalia.
In the 17th century, Covent Garden was a flower, fruit and vegetable market. This is where Nell Gwynne sold oranges. Nell was taken to act at the Drury Lane Theatre, and later became mistress to King Charles II.
The Adelphi Theatre, hosting the musical Kinky Boots, was once a murder scene. In the 19th century, actor Breezy Bill, also known as William Terriss, was stabbed at the stage door by a jealous colleague.
An array of choices
From Covent Garden to the West End, theatres in the city have plays and dramas to suit all tastes, including musicals, farces and dramas. Visitors taking Thames luxury charters to the area will find it one of the most dramatic parts of the city, where history and modernity blend.
Visitors exploring the London theatre scene will find that it can be quirky, educational and entertaining.